ScotRail will deliver a revised timetable for customers from Sunday, 13 December as it continues to provide a critical service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcing the changes, the train operator confirmed that around 81 per cent of the normal timetable will operate, with some services being removed following a significant reduction in passenger demand. ScotRail said this level of service will more than meet demand over the coming months.
With the number of customers travelling on Scotland’s Railway currently down by around 85 per cent compared to the same time last year, the revised timetable ensures trains run when they are needed most while delivering better value for the taxpayer.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a clear shift away from customers travelling during the morning (07.00-09.00) and evening (16.30-18.30) peaks to other times of the day. With more people working from home or taking advantage of more flexible working hours, there has been a significant change in how people travel with ScotRail.
The changes will also help to ensure enhanced resilience for staffing levels, following the impact of restrictions on the training of drivers and conductors.
At a time when businesses throughout the country are working under financial constraints, ScotRail is no different, and reducing services in a safe and controlled manner is part of that process.
Ahead of the main timetable change, there will be some changes made to services from Monday, 30 November, with a reduction in the frequency of trains travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Services will operate every half hour compared to the standard 15 minutes.
Customers are reminded to check their journey before travel to see which services are affected by the changes, and are also reminded that there will be alterations to the times of some remaining services.
David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:
“Throughout the pandemic, everyone across Scotland’s Railway has worked tirelessly to deliver a robust and reliable timetable, with services across the country keeping key workers moving.
“This revised timetable allows us to continue delivering that reliable and vital rail service, but better reflects the reduced demand and changing nature of travel in Scotland and the need to ensure value for taxpayer money.
“Fewer people are travelling during the morning and evening peaks because of more flexible work arrangements. Our targeted approach will deliver more than enough seats to allow customers to travel safely.
“Our staff have done a fantastic job in an unprecedented environment for the rail industry. This revised timetable will mean we are better placed to manage any reduction in staff availability due to coronavirus restrictions.”